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Steffen Aarfing



Danish designer Steffen Aarfing made his Royal Opera debut in 2015, creating designs for Król Roger, directed by Kasper Holten.

Aarfing studied architecture at the Danish Royal Academy of Arts and began his career as a set designer for opera and theatre in 1980. He has since worked in opera and theatre stage design, theatre architecture and film production design, and in his theatre and opera credits often works with costume designer Marie í Dali. Aarfing has frequently collaborated with Holten, their credits including The Turn of the Screw for La Scala, Milan, La clemenza di Tito and La traviata in Stockholm, L’elisir d’amore in Reykjavik, Don Carlo, Le Grand Macabre, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Der Ring des Nibelungen in Copenhagen, Le nozze di Figaro for Theater an der Wien, Lohengrin for Deutsche Oper Berlin and the film Juan (based on Don Giovanni). Aarfing's other opera credits have included Tristan und Isolde in Helsinki and Copenhagen and Le nozze di Figaro in Mannheim.

Aarfing’s theatre set designs include Der Goldende Drache (Helsinborg State Theatre), Fanny och Alexander (Bergen), Tartuffe (Grõnnegådsteatret, Copenhagen), The Three Musketeers and Le Misanthrope (Royal Theatre, Copenhagen), Oresteia and Iphigenia at Aulis (Gothenburg, also costumes for Iphigenia at Aulis) and Lulu (Aarhus Theatre, also costumes). In addition to Juan, his film work includes I am Dina (2002, directed by Ole Bornedal).

News and features

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team discuss Król Roger

16 May 2015
Watch: Members of the cast and creative team discuss <em>Król Roger</em>

Films from the live stream of Karol Szymanowski's sumptuous opera Król Roger, including rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.

How to Stage an Opera: Opening the inner world of Król Roger

11 May 2015
How to Stage an Opera: Opening the inner world of <em>Król Roger</em>

When the huge stage you're working on can accommodate 33 red London buses, how do directors illuminate the nuanced inner struggles of a character?